Pretty Sweet? Hegemonic Masculinity, Female Physicality, and the Regulation of Gender in a Vintage Book Series for Girls
The Girls of Central High series, published over a century ago, provides a unique opportunity to investigate crucial intersections of gender, class, and institutionalized schooling that impact on competitive female sporting activities. In this article, these intersections are explored through a detailed examination of two characters in the series whose lives are affected by sport in very different ways. Although this book series served to reproduce and reinforce conventional attitudes and beliefs about femininity and masculinity, it also succeeded in reassuring young women that the desire to participate in vigorous competitive team sport was reasonable, feminine, and beneficial for other aspects of their lives.